Gung Hai Fat Choy! The year of the Ox kicks off today which means it’s going to be more of a conservative year: sure and steady. Apparently those who have sown seeds will see the benefits this year as long as they look after their business. This recipe was inspired by the tradition of making sticky glutinous cakes for Chinese New Year. Apparently offering sticky glutinous cakes to family signifies cohesiveness (represented by the gluton). These sweet treats are also offered to the kitchen god who resides in Buddhist chinese families in the hope that bringing sweet offerings the kitchen God will only have sweet things to give in the coming year.

I really went overboard with the red colouring as red symbolises good fortune in Chinese culture. Reduce the amount if you want something a little less in your face.

Chinese New Year delights

500ml water
450g caster sugar
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp red food colouring
150g cornflour
4 tbsp rose water
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp powdered agar agar*

Dusting mixture
2 tbsp cornflour
5 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice

Pour half of the water into a heavy based saucepan and add the sugars. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture reaches 115


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